It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year! Despite Halloween still being a few days away, the Christmas music season has already begun, with stars like Lea Michele, Pentatonix and Liam Payne giving fans an early dose of holiday cheer on Friday (Oct. 25).
Lea Michele, Christmas in The City
After being a central voice on all four volumes of Glee Christmas albums, it should come as no surprise that Lea Michele is finally releasing her first solo holiday album. Christmas in The City is an unabashedly traditional take on the art of the Christmas album, with the star delivering joyfully indulgent renditions of classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Silver Bells” and “Silent Night.” Michele also tries her hand at the all-important original Christmas tune with “Christmas in New York,” an ode to December in the Big Apple co-penned with Glee songwriters/producers Adam Anders and Peer Astrom. Elsewhere on the album, the actress reunites with former Glee co-stars (and real-life besties) Darren Criss and Jonathan Groff for “White Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, respectively, as well as Broadway star Cynthia Erivo for a bombastic take on “Angels We Have Heard On High.”
Pentatonix, The Best of Pentatonix Christmas
Seeing as Pentatonix has released three full-length Christmas albums and an EP since 2012, the vocal quintet has plenty of festive material to choose from for this Christmas-themed greatest hits collection. The Best of Pentatonix Christmas includes 15 of their best-loved holiday songs, including star-studded guest features from the likes of Kelly Clarkson (“Grown Up Christmas List”), Tori Kelly (“Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry Be Happy”), Maren Morris (“When You Believe”) and Jennifer Hudson (“How Great Thou Art”). The 19-track LP also features a special posthumous duet with Whitney Houston of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” using the late superstar’s 2004 recording of the hymn.
Liam Payne, “All I Want (For Christmas)”
As Liam Payne readies his forthcoming debut solo album, he’s giving fans a new single just in time to tide them over for the holidays. Its title may bring to mind Mariah Carey‘s timeless Christmas classic, but “All I Want (For Christmas)” is far from another cover of Mimi’s timeless romantic declaration. Instead, the fomer One Direction-er has delivered the exact opposite: a somber, Christmas-themed break-up song. “If we can make it through December/ Every New Year we’ll have together/ Baby all I want for Christmas/ Is you and me to fix this,” he belts on the song’s lovelorn chorus — a perfect ballad from anyone who’s ever been heartbroken over the holidays.
The Regrettes, “Holiday-ish” feat. Dylan Minnette
The Regrettes are teaming up with Wallows‘ Dylan Minnette for their first Christmas single, “Holiday-ish.” The jangling mid-tempo number perfectly captures the magic of the season, even if it doesn’t look quite like a picture-perfect Hallmark movie. “And the snow won’t fall/ And the fire’s too hot/ And when my family calls/ Will I pick up or not?/ And when I look at you/ And you look back at me/ There’s nothin’ I would rather do/ You’re the most holiday-ish sight that I could see,” frontwoman Lydia Night coos to real-life boyfriend Minnette. The adorable duet will also be available as a 7-inch vinyl exclusively for Record Store Day’s Black Friday on Nov. 29. (Even better, the B-side features the demo version of the track that was originally recorded as a voice memo in the home Night and Minnette share together.)
Ana Gasteyer, Sugar & Booze
Saturday Night Live vet Ana Gasteyer follows up her 2014 debut album I’m Hip with Sugar & Booze, an uproarious homage to Christmas albums of old. The vintage-inspired collection of songs is equal parts music and comedy, with Gasteyer imbuing original songs like “Nothing Rhymes With Christmas,” “Blue Black Friday” and the boozy title track with her razor-sharp sense of humor. Sugar & Booze also features an unforgettable duet between Gasteyer and pal Maya Rudolph on the Havana-tinged “Secret Santa,” as well as lesser-known holiday standards from the 1960s like “He’s Stuck In the Chimney Again” and “The Merriest.”